PETION TO REINSTATE H.L. McGILL
Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Director Fired for the Second Time by a Deputy Director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.
NAACP and Citizen Groups Petition Governor Mike Beebe
To Reinstate H.L McGill
For a second time in less than a year, H.L. McGill an African American male and Director of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center has been fired. McGill was terminated by Martha Miller, Deputy Director of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. Miller is a long-time friend of Governor Mike Beebe and ex-wife of Morril Harriman, Governor Beebe’s Chief of Staff. Ms. Miller was appointed by Governor Beebe and had been on the job for three months when she presented McGill a letter of termination. A review of documents that McGill shared with a group of concern citizens clearly show that the firing was without merit.
Since McGill’s departure, Ms. Miller has denied the use of the facility to community groups including the Nation of Islam and the NAACP and has also cancelled the next scheduled Mosaic Templar’s exhibit by Ed Dwight “Inauguration of History and Hope - Inaugural Sculpture Scene of President Barack Obama”
The Mosaic Templars of America (MTA) was established in 1883 by two ex-slaves, John Bush and Chester Keats. The Mosaic Templars was chartered as a fraternal organization to provide insurance and other social services denied to black people during the era of segregation. By 1900, Mosaic Templars industries grew to include an insurance company, a building and loan association, a publishing company, a business college, a nursing school and a hospital. At its peak, MTA had over 200,000 members located in 26 states and seven (7) countries. At the time, MTA was one of the largest Black organizations in the world. Construction of the Mosaic Templars National Headquarters Building (NHQB) was completed in 1913 and housed Mosaic Templars offices as well as other businesses. Booker T. Washington did the dedication speech in 1913 for the new Mosaic Templars of America Building.
The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center now sits on the foundation of the original Mosaic Templars National Headquarters Building. A group of citizens, made up primarily of African Americans saved the building from the wrecking ball. As a result, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (MTCC) was founded as the Mosaic Templars of America Center for African American Culture and Business Enterprise under Arkansas Legislative Act 1176 of 2001. The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center was created as a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and it honors the story of the Mosaic Templars of America and all of Arkansas's African American history. The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, located in Little Rock, is a state- funded museum dedicated to the story of African American life and business. The Center is to interpret Arkansas's African American community through exhibits, oral history interviews, public forums, and educational programming. The mission of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is to collect, preserve, interpret and celebrate Arkansas's African American history, culture, and community from 1870 to the present, and to inform and educate the public about African American's achievements - especially in business, politics, and the arts.
After Last year’s firing, McGill was reinstated by Governor Beebe after the Governor met with concern citizens. Governor Beebe had Lamar Davis, an African American and Governor Beebe’s Deputy Chief of Staff to meet with McGill. A review of documents presented to Davis by McGill proved that last year’s firing was without merit and was actually a modern day lynching. McGill was reinstated as Director of Mosaic Templars Cultural Center by Governor Beebe at the request of Mr. Davis.
Recently, Dale Charles, President of the Arkansas State NAACP with other community leaders met with Governor Mike Beebe and his staff to discuss the second firing of H.L. McGill. At that meeting, Governor Beebe rejected the groups’ request to provide H.L. McGill due process and to reinstate him. Governor Beebe is refusing to listen to the will of the people to reinstate Mr. McGill. Many African American in the State are beginning to believe that due to the recent redistricting law suit against Governor Mike Beebe by soon to be former Senator Jack Crumbly and the issue of due process of H.L. McGill that Governor Beebe may go down in history as the worst Governor for African American since Orval Faubus. Orval Faubus was the Governor during the Little Rock Central School desegregation Crisis.
With this petition, a coalition of community groups made up of the NAACP, churches and community groups are seeking signatures and petitioning the Governor of Arkansas to do the right thing and give H.L. McGill due process.
President of NAACP
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